The 2018 NBA draft is just around the corner, taking place on Thursday, June 21 at 8 pm. The top prospects are already well known in DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson, Michael Porter and others. Sadly, there will be many teams who will not get a chance to select from the pool of the upper-echelon. So, then, what are they left with? Luckily for them, there are a number of under the radar prospects who can make a difference on teams for the decade to come.
Here are the top under the radar sleepers in the draft.
10. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
Svi, as Kansas fans affectionately call him, had a long and successful career with the Jayhawks; earning minutes immediately during his freshman season. Mykhailiuk was one of the countries premier sharpshooters during his senior year on a Kansas team that made the final four, shooting 44 percent from three while averaging 15 points a game. Svi projects as an adept spot-up shooter in the NBA, and in the right situation could be a worth-while find for a team picking in the late first or early/mid second round(s).
9. Trevon Duval
Like Svi, Duval was a notable player at a big school. However, Duval was just a one-and-doner at Duke, running the point for a Blue Devil squad that fell to Kansas in the Elite 8. Scouts like Duval’s athleticism and frame and see the potential for him to become an excellent driver and finisher at the rim. Duval’s one glaring concern is his jump shooting, a weakness so glaring that the Ringer’s draft guide compared his shot to Dwight Howard’s. If he can somehow figure out how to shoot, Duval flashes borderline all-star potential. He could be a massive steal in the mid to late second round. Til then, however, he is a huge question mark.
8. Jevon Carter
Carter will be remembered as one of the great players in West Virginia basketball history. He played big minutes during all four years with the Mountaineers and by his Junior year was the undisputed floor general of the team. WVU did a lot of winning with Carter at the helm. He projects as a top-flight perimeter defender and role player, the kind of whom that you can win a championship with. He is expected to go in the mid-second round, but could go a lot harder. One gets the sense that a smart team will snatch him up.
7. Mitchell Robinson
Robinson entered the 2017-2018 season as one of the top recruits in college basketball, enrolling in Western Kentucky. Before the season even started, Robinson was suspended for the entire season by WKU due to a violation of team rules. Instead of sitting on the bench all year, Robinson instead decided to skip college and head straight for the draft. Scouts like Robinson’s athleticism and rebounding ability, garnering comparisons to DeAndre Jordan and Hassan Whiteside. Concerns over his departure from WKU and lack of game tape are all that’s holding him back, as he is clearly a lottery-type prospect. He is still expected to go in the mid to late first round.
6. Chandler Hutchinson
Hutchinson is not only under the radar in the draft, he too was under the radar in the college basketball world while putting up big numbers at Boise State. Hutchinson averaged 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists on a Boise State team that just barely missed the NCAA tournament. Hutchinson had the misfortune of starring at a mid-major school better known for football, and thus was not a well-known player. Scouts see a potential 3-and-D role player that are so in vogue in today’s NBA. He is expected to go in the late first round.
5. Kevin Huerter
At the moment, Huerter is the draft’s biggest riser. The Maryland shooting guard wowed teams during the draft combine with his deep range. He put up good numbers this season for the Terrapins, averaging 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. It has been reported that the Utah Jazz promised to select Huerter should he be available, which puts him in the late first round range.
4. Moritz Wagner
Wagner is one of the best-known names to college basketball fans in this draft thanks to his stellar play in back to back NCAA Tournaments. Wagner is highly skilled offensively, boasting an ability to both post up and knock down threes from beyond the arc. He will need to improve defensively to reach his maximum potential, but he remains a borderline first rounder.
3. Omari Spellman
The remaining prospects on this list belong to the champion Villanova Wildcats. With Mikal Bridges likely going in the top ten, it has been easy to forget the other great ‘Nova players in the draft. Spellman was a key two-way big man during the title run, knocking down big shots and protecting the paint. Scouts see growth potential in his playmaking and offensive skillset. As of right now he appears to be an early second rounder but could higher than that should teams fall in love with taking Wildcats in the first round, which they’d have every reason to.
2. Jalen Brunson
Brunson, the floor leader of the Wildcats this past season, can do just about everything on a basketball court. He shoots, he drives, he posts up, he makes plays and defends. If not for athletic liabilities, Brunson would be an easy lottery pick. Even so, Brunson is still being severely undervalued as a late first-round pick. It is likely that a very good team will grab him and will be left with an excellent role player for years to come. Brunson will make those who doubted him pay.
1. Donte DiVincenzo
Donte was the big star of the final four and national championship, unconsciously stroking threes and completing raucous dunks. He was Villanova’s most fun player to watch all year long, and NBA teams took notice. Depending on who you read, DiVincenzo could go anywhere from the early second round all the way to the late lottery. He averaged 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists this season and is a swiss-army-knife type player that Jay Wright covets. I expect that whoever Donte ends up will be quite happy, whether its at 15 or 35.